The Ultimate Guide to Filing Income Tax Return
Filing of income tax returns (ITR) is among the many duties of every taxpaying individual or entity. An income tax return is a complete record of the total income received from various sources, the tax liabilities and taxes paid. Filing of tax returns is beneficial in many ways. It enables one to claim a tax refund and easily apply for loans or credit cards.
Here is a complete guide on filing ITR:
Who Should File ITR?
According to the Income Tax Act, ITR filing is mandatory for individuals if their annual income exceeds a specified limit. The limit is Rs 2.5 Lakh for those below 60 years, Rs 3 Lakh for senior citizens below 80 years and Rs 5 Lakh for super senior citizens above 80 years. Companies and firms must file ITR if they incur income or loss in a financial year.
In fact, it is beneficial to file ITR even if one is not eligible as it serves as an income proof.
How to File Tax Returns
One can file tax returns through either the online or offline mode. One can also seek assistance from a professional. Before filing ITR, one is required to obtain Form 16 from the employer and have all the investment proofs.
The government has made a taxpayer’s life easy with the introduction of e-filing system. The Income Tax (I-T) Department enables taxpayers to conveniently file ITR through an online portal. This minimises paperwork and makes the process error-free.
We tell you how to file ITR:
Step 1: Visit the official portal of the I-T Department.
Step 2: Register yourself in the portal. In case you have already done that, then proceed to log in. Remember to select the right option for ‘User Type’.
Step 3: After you log in, go the ‘e-file’ section and click on ‘Income Tax Return’.
Step 4: Select the assessment year and the correct ITR form. Salaried individuals with income up to Rs 50 lakh must use the ‘Sahaj’ (ITR -1) form. Choose 'Original/Revised Return' under ‘Filing Type’ and 'Prepare and Submit Online' under ‘Submission Mode’.
Step 5: Cross-check all the pre-filled information. Read the 'General Instructions. Verify bank details and click ‘Continue’.
Step 6: Upload your Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) which is registered with e-filing. Finally, Click ‘Submit’.
Note: If you do not have a DSC, you can skip the step. Download ITR-V which is displayed. You must send the duly-filled ITR-V with original signature to the Central Processing Centre (CPC) Bengaluru 120 days prior to date of filing. ITR-V is the Income Tax Return - Verification Form. Sending the ITR-V through speed post/ ordinary post is advisable. One can also choose the e-verify option.
• Offline ITR Filing
One should also know the process of how to file ITR through offline mode. Those filing ITR through this method should furnish their ITR returns in physical paper form to the Income Tax Department.
Note: For individuals (including HUF members) with income below Rs 5 Lakh and not eligible to get refund as well as Super senior citizens; they have the option to file ITR through offline mode during a financial year.
• Last Date of Filing ITR
One should be aware of the last date of filing ITR depending on the category they belong to. For instance, the deadline to file ITR is July 31st of the assessment year, applicable for individuals, Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) members and taxpayers who do not need to get account books audited. Missing the deadline for filing income tax return can attract a penalty levied by the I-T Department.
The deadline for filing income tax returns for FY 2018-2019 has been extended, from earlier deadline of 31st March 2020 to new deadline 30th June 2020.
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